What distinguishes music from noise? Chances are your answer to this question would differ from that of your grandparents. Music majors and minors at Calvin study music at both a theoretical and technical level in order to shape series of noises into works of art.

Overview

The music major at Calvin allows you to focus your studies in one of four concentrations: music theory/composition, performance, music history and music in worship. You may also opt for a general music degree, or pair your major with a number of other majors and programs offered at Calvin. 

Additionally, the music department at Calvin offers two programs that lead to a bachelor in music education (BME) degree. Both 66-credit hour music education programs will prepare you to teach in the K-12 setting. Choose either the instrumental music education program or the vocal/choral music education program. 

Careers in Music

  • Band or Choir Director
  • Composer
  • Acoustic Engineer
  • Vocal Coach
  • More

See job placement rates for Calvin grads.

Student involvement

Perform at weekly recital hours; study privately on one of twenty instruments; participate in band, orchestra or choir.

Scholarships

Dollar amounts reflect awards given for the 2014-15 academic year.

Kenneth E. and Jean Baker Mathematics and Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,200
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.5+
  • financial need not required; enrolled in a for-credit music activity (ensemble or lessons)
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
Kenneth E. and Jean Baker Nursing and Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,200
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.5+
  • financial need not required; be enrolled in a for-credit music ensemble or activity
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
Maurice and Eunice Bolt Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,200
  • senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need required; preference to those who wish to teach music or art within a public school system
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
Janice Broekhuizen Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,150
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.1+
  • financial need required; demonstrate superior achievements in music
  • apply through the music department
Jean C. Broersma Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,400
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.5+
  • financial need considered
  • demonstrate achievement in Calvin's instrumental or vocal music activities
  • apply through the music department
Arlene and Ray Bruggink Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • sophomore
  • GPA of 2.5+
  • financial need required
  • apply through the music department
Henry Bruinsma Family Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,600
  • junior or senior
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need required
  • apply through the music department
Llewellyn L. Cayvan String Instrument Scholarship
  • award amount: varies
  • any class level
  • financial need required; plan on performing with the Calvin College orchestra; must take private lessons
  • apply through the music department
James J. and Helen A. DeJonge Voice Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,700
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need considered; must be a voice concentrate
  • apply through the music department
DeVries Church Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,200
  • any class level
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need not required; proficiency in performance as a singer or keyboardist; interest in and aptitude for a career in church music
  • apply through the music department
Harold and Louise Feringa Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • first-year
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need considered; first preference to a music major; demonstrate a love for or interest in music
  • apply through the music department
Friends of Music Scholarship
  • award amount: varies
  • freshman, sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need not required; superior achievements, show great potential; participant in an ensemble; one new work performed; taking music lessons
  • apply through the music department
Joseph Galema Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,000
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need required; preference given to those dedicated to organ performance
  • apply through the music department
Harold and Gladys Geerdes String Scholarship
  • award amount: $700
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • financial need not required; be an outstanding string player (violin, viola, cello and/or bass)
  • apply through the music department
Harold Geerdes Violin Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,100
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.5+
  • financial need not required
  • apply through the music department
Helene Hekman Gezon Voice Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.5+
  • financial need not required
  • apply through the music department
Allene Huizenga Goguen Music Education Scholarship
  • award amount: $3,200
  • sophomore, junior, senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need not required; pursuing a program in music education; preference to those with an interest in urban music education and demonstrate the musical skill and Christian leadership qualities needed to be an effective teacher
  • apply through the music department
Trena Haan Voice Therapy Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,200
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need not required; majoring in voice, choral conducting or vocal music education; interest in studying the anatomy and function of the vocal instrument
  • apply through the music department
John E. and June B. Hamersma Organ Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,200
  • first-year or sophomore
  • GPA of 3.5+
  • financial need considered; intending to study organ or church music with an emphasis in organ
  • apply through the music department
Leonard J. and H. Elaine Hofman Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need required; planning to use musical talents in worship
  • apply through the music department
Henry and Nellie Holtvluwer Music Award
  • award amount: $2,000
  • junior
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need considered; preference to those with the highest GPA
  • apply through the music department
Marge Houskamp Organ Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,200
  • any class level
  • GPA of 3.2+
  • financial need not required; goal of becoming a church organist
  • preference will be given to prospective first-year students each year
  • apply through the music department
Kuipers Family Wind Ensemble Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,300
  • junior
  • GPA of 2.5+
  • financial need not required; be a current or future member of the wind ensemble
  • nominated by officers of the Wind Ensemble; voted on by the members of the Wind Ensemble
Hets Molenhouse Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • be planning to use their musical talents in worship; have a record of superior achievement in music activities and have given evidence of outstanding talent and musicianship
  • apply through the music department
Tom and Marcia Nobel Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $3,000
  • first-year
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need required; interested in music; plan to be a member of band, orchestra or vocal group; preference to students from a church in Classis Thornapple Valley
  • submit a letter to the Financial Aid Office (finaid@calvin.edu) describing your qualifications by February 1
Norman and Anne Noordeloos Keyboard Award
  • award amount: $1,700
  • junior or senior
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need not required; demonstrating outstanding musicianship and proficient in performance
  • apply through the music department
Oratorio Society Applied Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,000
  • first-year
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need not required; vocalists, string players with superior musical achievement
  • apply through the music department
Norine E. Potts Scholarship
  • award amount: $3,000
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.5+
  • financial need not required; planning to enroll in organ music classes
  • apply through the music department
Rainbow Foundation Wind Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,000
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need considered
  • apply through the music department
Roy A. Reimer Memorial Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • any class level
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need required; profiency in playing the violin, viola or cello
  • apply through the music department
Loren and Dian Rupke Music Scholarship
  • award amont: $2,000
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • demonstrate financial need
  • apply through the music department
Henry and Eleanor Scholten Viola Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,200
  • freshman, sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA 3.00+
  • financial need required; must play the viola; preference given to students who participate (or will) in a chamber ensemble or string quartet; not necessarily a music major
  • apply through the music department
Howard J. Slenk Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $3,500
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need not required; preference to those going into choral conducting as a profession
  • apply through the music department
Seymour Swets Voice Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,400
  • junior or senior
  • financial need not required; proficient in performance as a singer and active in a faculty-directed vocal ensemble
  • apply through the music department
John R. and Marie A. Swierenga Brass Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,700
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need considered
  • apply through the music department
John and Doris Van Dellen Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,500
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.5+
  • financial need not required; outstanding musician but not necessarily a music major; first preference to those outstanding in vocal music
  • apply through the music department
VanderBeek/Palma Piano Scholarship
  • award amount: $4,000
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.5+
  • financial need considered; first preference given to music majors with a concentration in piano performance; second preference given to students studying piano who exhibit a high degree of proficiency
  • apply through the music department
Vander Griend Voice Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,350
  • first-year
  • financial need not required
  • apply through the music department
VanderHaagen Family Scholarship for Church Musicians
  • award amount: $1,600
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.7+
  • financial need required
  • apply through the music department
Vander Heide Voice Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,300
  • first-year
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need not required
  • apply through the music department
Judith Vroon Vander Zee Music Education Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,700
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need required
  • apply through the music department
Vrieland Family Business and Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,250
  • any class level
  • HS or Calvin GPA 3.0+
  • financial need not required; involved in some aspect of music
  • automatic consideration
Lloyd and Arlene Warners Family Keyboard Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • first-year
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need considered; preference given to piano students, then organists
  • apply through the music department
Martin P. and Florence DeGraaff Wiebenga Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,600
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA 3.0+
  • financial need required
  • automatic consideration
Gayla R. Witte Oratorio Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need required; member of the Oratorio Society
  • apply through the music department
John W. Worst Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,500
  • any class amount
  • GPA of 2.5+
  • financial need considered; interested in the art of music making. Preference will be given to those intending to pursue a career in opera, music theater, or who are active in such endeavors at Calvin. Must remain active in the music department.
  • apply through the music department
Johanna Kempers Wyngaarden Scholarship
  • award amount: $4,700
  • any class level
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need required; be pursuing an art studio major or an art education major OR be a music major concentrating in piano performance
  • apply through the art and art history department or the music department
Johanna Kempers Wyngaarden Scholarship
  • award amount: $4,700
  • any class level
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need required; be pursuing an art studio major or an art education major OR be a music major concentrating in piano performance
  • apply through the art and art history department or the music department
John and Betty Zandee Organ Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,400
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.7+
  • financial need required
  • apply through the music department
Carol Lee Zylstra Memorial Church Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • any class level
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need required
  • apply through the music department
Gerald and Adriana Zylstra Piano Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • any class level
  • GPA 2.5+
  • financial need not required
  • apply through the music department
View all scholarship opportunities

Faculty

Tiffany Engle

Tiffany Engle
Associate Professor (Director of Bands, Applied Saxophone, Conducting, Woodwind Methods)
Assistant Professor
Department of Music
CF 183
tje4@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6304

David Fuentes

David Fuentes
Professor (Composition & Theory)
Professor
Department of Music
CF 241
dfuentes@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6569

Phillip Hash

Phillip Hash
Associate Professor (Theory, Composition, History, Music Education)
Associate Professor of Music Education
Department of Music
CF 243
pmh3@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6022

Hyesook Kim

Hyesook Kim
Professor (Piano, Accompanying, Piano Chamber Music, Piano Literature, Music Appreciation)
Professor
Department of Music
CF 185
hkim@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6300

David Reimer

David Reimer
Associate Professor (String Program, Violin Private Lesson Instructor, Chamber Music, Calvin String Summit, Orchestra Festivals)
Associate Professor
Department of Music
CF 177
drr2@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6259

Charsie Sawyer

Charsie Sawyer
Professor (Applied Voice, Gospel Choir Conductor, Vocal Pedagogy, Vocal Literature, Music Director/Musical Theater Productions, Voice Private Lesson Instructor)
Professor
Department of Music
CF 179
csawyer@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6823

Pearl Shangkuan

Pearl Shangkuan
Professor (Capella Conductor, Women's Chorale Conductor, Calvin Alumni Choir Conductor)
Professor
Department of Music
CF 170
pshangku@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6519

Timothy Steele

Timothy Steele
Associate Professor; Department Chair (Musicology, Music Theory)
Associate Professor
Department of Music
CF 237
ths3@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8523

John Varineau

John Varineau
Professor (Orchestra Conductor, Clarinet Private Lesson Instructor, Music Theory)
Department of Music
CF 181
jvarinea@calvin.edu
(616) 526-7813

Benita Wolters-Fredlund

Benita Wolters-Fredlund
Associate Professor (Theory, Composition, History, Education)
Associate Professor of Music
Department of Music
CF 237
bw24@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6909

Talk to us

Timothy Steele Timothy Steele
Program Director
Associate Professor
Department of Music
CF 237
ths3@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8523

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Teach This

Interested in teaching? You can gain certification in Music as a:

Calvin's teacher education program also contains education-specific course requirements that you must complete prior to certification. See course requirements for:

Professor Robert Keeley talks about the education program.

Learn More

Explore Calvin's teacher education program.

Contact Phillip Hash for more information about teacher certification in Music Education (vocal & Instrumental)

Read the teacher education guidebook for more detailed information about certification.

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